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Ravens need to find a way to use Jacoby Jones more in offensive game plan

Jacoby Jones was a deep threat a year ago. Where has that gone?

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco's performance during the 2012 playoffs made him deserving of any accolades that were directed his way. Regardless of being named the Super Bowl MVP, Flacco was due for a big payday.

However, I think that KR/WR Jacoby Jones should have been named Super Bowl XLVII MVP.

Even though Jones would be what many consider overpaid, carrying a $4.9 million cap value into this season, given his game-changing abilities it was almost something the Ravens had to do out of principle. Jones earned every bit of his $1.6 million last year and given his performance, the team was in no position to ask him for a pay cut.

Unfortunately, for both the Ravens and Jones, things haven't been working out this season nearly to the level that each had expected. The year got off to a rough start, seeing Jones lost for four games with a sprained knee following a collision with teammate Brynden Trawick on a punt return.

A lot of talk has been about how the offensive line has killed the Ravens' rushing attack, but it has also impacted the deep pass as well. Whereas Jones was a major offensive threat last season, he's been anything but in 2013.

Jones returned to the Ravens offense on Week 6 against the Packers. He scored an 11-yard touchdown, but that's been the highlight of the season so far. Since his return (five games), Jones has only been targeted 22 times, with 14 catches 136 yards and a touchdown.

I'm not one to get lost in stats, but there are two major ones that stand out, because Jones must be a bigger part of this offense to succeed.

  • Twice, Jones has been targeted eight times in a game. The other three contests, he's only been targeted two times.
  • The most catches Jones has this season is four (2x), otherwise he's only had two each game (3x).

Jones doesn't have the best hands in the world, but he does have some of the best speed in the league. Last week in Chicago, the 65-plus mph winds limited the deep pass for the Ravens, but Jones was rarely utilized. Playing in 37 offensive snaps (47%), Jones was targeted on the first play of the game, a nine-yard completion, but didn't have another pass thrown his way until the fourth quarter. That would be the only other time he saw the ball.

Regardless of whatever is to blame for Jones' disappearance in the offense, it doesn't sit well for both parties. Jones only deserves half of the blame because his quarterback doesn't have time to throw, but he's not doing anything to help assure he'll be playing in the league for anything more than a veteran minimum deal beyond this year.

The Ravens need to find a way to get Jones more involved, because what is the sense of paying someone like they're a Lamborghini and you just park them in a garage?